The Rand has taken a knock against other major currencies as a result of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s mention of nationalising the South African Reserve Bank.
Addressing Members of Parliament (MPs) on Thursday, 7 March 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his desire to have the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) nationalised, handing over its governance to the people. This was during a National Assembly question and answer session in Cape Town. President Ramaphosa was responding to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane, who sought clarity on the issue of SARB.
“The governing party [ANC] has taken a very clear resolution that says the Reserve Bank should be owned by the people of South Africa. That is an important consideration,” he said.
The president reinforced the African National Congress’ (ANC) stance by making examples of other countries whose reserve banks are nationalised. He made an example of the United Kingdom, noting that the Bank of England had bought out its external shareholders in the 1940s, making the United Kingdom the sole owner of its reserve bank.
“I don’t want to deceive South Africans and [have them think] that the ANC wants to go ahead with a mad programme. This is the done thing around the world. This will confirm our sovereignty,” he said, to cheers from the audience.
Although the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) agreed on this stance, the DA said it would fight against the Parliamentary bill to nationalise SARB.
At 17:00 on Thursday, 7 March 2019, the Rand sat at R14.38 against the US dollar. Today, 8 March 2019, the Rand is sitting at R14.50 to the US dollar.